Ahh the wonders of billable hours.Whereas we freelancers are free to make sure we invoice for every single minute worked, salaried full-timers are somewhat more at the mercy of their bosses in regards to their working hours.

A survey by Travelodge (of all people) has found that a rather astonishing 72% of UK workers are giving their bosses up to ten hours of free overtime every week. With an average working week of 35 hours, this equates to a huge chunk of work going unpaid every week. Travelodge estimate the free labour equates to £142 billion!

A lack of flexibility – something treasured by most freelancers – was also apparent from the survey results. Over half of those surveyed reported they have missed important family events due to work commitments, and one in ten male employees even claims to have missed the birth of a child due to extended hours!

Slightly less than half of respondents also reported they continue working once they leave the office, and a third admitted they “regularly” work at the weekend.

Overall the survey painted a picture of an under-salaried and over-worked 9-to-5 population, with job security and ensuring they stay in management’s good books driving excessive working hours.

Londoners were found to be the hardest unpaid workers, racking up an average of 12 hours per week, with Liverpudlians hot on their heels with 11.5.

Makes you glad to be a freelancer, eh?

Photo by Dennis Matheson